And a small paperback book, The Bull of Minos, by Leonard Cottrell.
It told me about the Minoan Empire of Crete and the Aegean Sea, that predated the Greeks and was completely forgotten until Arthur Evans excavated the Palace at Knossos in 1900.
What kid wouldn't find that fascinating?
But the illustrations (and the illustrations I found in other books) were even more fascinating, displaying an exuberant interest in the male form.
There were some naked ladies, including a topless snake goddess, but many more naked or loincloth-clad men serving beverages, leaping over bulls, farming, fishing, hugging each other as if they are lovers, and just standing, waiting to be objects of desire after 3300 years.
bullfighting originated in an ancient Minoan ceremony where semi-nude young athletes grabbed bulls by the horns and leaped over them, a spectacle of man and muscle without the blood.
Others have noticed the masculine energy of the ancient Minoans.
The Minoan Brotherhood, founded by Edmund Buczynski in 1977, draws from the Minoan mysteries to enact neopagan rituals for gay and bisexual men.
Flights from Athens to Heraklion, the capital of Crete, take about an hour, but it's more fun to go by boat. You can stop off at the gay resort of Mykonos on the way. (Also stop at the Penis Festival in Tyrnavos.)